Saturday, October 23, 2010

Paradigms

No, not that kind of paradigms, but I couldn't resist.  Sorry.  Lame, slapstick humor.  The kind that I often choose to not even grant the obligatory eye roll/moan process when my husband does it to me.

I'm talking about the belief system that we all have regarding just about everything in life.  The way we think about a topic or view the world around us.  In the last year and a half or so, many of my personal paradigms have been knocked on their duff.  It's sent me on a journey that is changing my life and the way I process new information now.  My eyes have been opened to so many new ways to see things, but it does get hard and confusing. 

For instance, most of us were told (popular media influence, school texts, etc) that to be healthy we needed to restrict our saturated fat intake and consume more carbohydrates.  Many obediently pursued the low fat approach, trusting that this would lead to a healthier life, reducing risk of heart disease and obesity.  I for one, never asked to see the research, nor looked at the daily evidence that there's now actually more heart disease and obesity than at any time in modern history.  Why?  Why is the advice of many research studies and government programs not working?  Perhaps because those studies are funded by businesses that have a vested interest in the outcome, and reports are skewed?  Do I sound paranoid yet?

I've come across a lot of new information during this journey and it can be so overwhelming that I just want to shrug and say, "oh well, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing".  However, that might not be what's best.  Instead, I've learned to run the new info through this filter test. 
  • Who stands to gain from this line of thinking?
  • How was it done before the Industrial Revolution?
  • How did God design the process?
Is it foolproof?  Not as long as this fool is involved.  I do think it's a better way of digesting all the conflicting, and sometimes misleading, information that's out there though.  After answering these questions, I can determine the route I think is best for me and my family.  That won't necessarily be the route that's best for you and your family, but I do want to encourage you to at least consider when something new comes along that it might be valuable.

I'm noticing, however, that many people simply to choose to keep on believing what they've always been taught, not questioning it at all, and I think that's a sad statement on our society.  We've grown complacent and we just accept the way things are done in this country as normal, a standard to be reached.  I say we because I know I'm just as guilty as anyone.  I'm trying to change that though, and want to encourage you to do the same.  The next time someone comes to you with info that sounds corny, conflicts with what you've always believed, or any of a multitude of reasons for why you'd tune it out, try listening and running it through your own filter.  Listen with an attitude of "this person must believe this, or think it's worthwhile, maybe I should examine it too."  Maybe the person presenting it to you cares about you so much that they want you to know what they've discovered.  I'm not suggesting that the new info will always be better, just that it's worth it to consider why it was brought to you in the first place. 

For myself, I feel betrayed by the very institutions I once trusted and wonder why someone didn't show me what I've been discovering with my own research.  It's with that attitude that I bring new info to those around me.  I may sound nuts, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.  If I think it can help you live a better life, I'm going to say something.  If you don't like what I say, that's certainly your prerogative, and I won't spend time trying to persuade you.  I will continue to present new ideas as they come to me though, because I care.  Not because I think everyone must do it my way, but because the info was so profound to me, that it changed the way I live, and I want to share this new discovery to give you the opportunity to perhaps improve your life!

Here's to growth and improving one's life and the world around us!